The British chancellor faces a storm of criticism after claiming that disabled people are partially responsible for the country’s low production efficiency.
Facing a question brought up by the Treasury Select Committee about low productivity levels in the UK, Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond labeled disabled people seeking employment as one of the factors contributing to this state of affairs.
“It is almost certainly the case that by increasing participation in the workforce, including far higher levels of participation by marginal groups and very high levels of engagement in the workforce, for example of disabled people – something we should be extremely proud of – may have had an impact on overall productivity measurements,” the chancellor said.
Hammond’s remark was immediately met with a storm of public outrage.
Anna Bird, director of policy and research at Scope, a charity which promotes the interests of disabled people, described Hammond’s remarks as “totally unacceptable and derogatory”, adding that “the chancellor must urgently withdraw them and offer a full apology,” according to The Guardian.
Shadow minister for disabled people Marsha de Cordova also said that she was shocked and appalled by Hammond “trying to blame” her and other disabled people “for the Tories’ economic failure.”